As a community-college student by day, a late-shift cook in a 24-hour diner by night and a father round the clock, Larry Bowens' chances to kick back don't come all that often. Brent Barry, after strolling into Miami's 11th Street Diner around 1 a.m. for a vegetable omelette, afforded him one.
"I put my hospitable skills to work when he came in," Bowens said. "I didn't crowd him. I wasn't gawking. I just wanted to make him feel at home."
The service earned him two tickets to the next night's Heat-Rockets game, a chance for Bowens, 47, to treat his six-year-old son, Donovan. "A chance to go out with someone close to you, you can't beat that," Bowens said. "The seats were good, too. Gave me a chance to see the actual height of these guys."
If you're looking to try one of Bowens' omelettes, do it soon. Bowens is taking classes at Miami-Dade Community College to earn a Human Services degree, specializing in addiction studies. His aim is to open a local non-profit program that provides outpatient drug services to the impoverished. Offering tickets, say, to a better life.